Sullivan: Tariffs not a focus in next week's China talks

More about this meeting: Sullivan and Foreign Minister Antony Blinken will meet Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Commission’s Foreign Affairs Office, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska.

US officials plan to raise concerns about China’s behavior toward Hong Kong and Taiwan, which many see as anti-democratic, as well as human rights violations against Uighur Muslims. The US has labeled China’s actions against Uyghurs genocide. Sullivan also said security concerns were likely to arise along China’s Indian border and the East China Sea.

Chinese tech companies will have their moment: “We will announce that the United States will take steps regarding our technological measures to ensure that our technology is not used in a way that is contrary to our values ​​or affects our safety,” said Sullivan.

However, Biden’s government has repeatedly stated that it will work with its allies, Europe, to address grievances related to China’s trade practices and technological ambitions. These talks need to mature before the US confronts China more directly, Sullivan said.

“We have more work to do with our allies and partners to develop a common approach, a common approach, before we sit down point-by-point with the Chinese government on these issues,” said Sullivan.

“We will also seek to involve other key officials, senior business figures from the Biden government, in these talks when it is appropriate,” he added.

The Trump hangover: Former President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth more than $ 350 billion as part of his trade war.

His administration signed a phase one trade deal that required Beijing to increase purchases of US agricultural products over two years, although data shows China defaulted on its commitments as early as the first year.

Trump also imposed export controls that prohibit US companies from selling certain cutting-edge technologies to Chinese firms suspected of having ties to the government or the military. Most notably, Trump used executive orders and export restrictions to impede China’s major tech and telecommunications companies, including ByteDance and Huawei.

Biden’s government has announced that it will review this policy in order to consolidate its own strategic approach to China.

Natasha Korecki contributed to this report.

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